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A few learners from Russel Bungeni High School try out the new equipment and learn about new experiments that can be done. Photo: Thembi Siaga.

New lab welcomed by Bungeni learners

 

A new state-of-the-art science laboratory was unveiled at Russel Bungeni High School in Bungeni village on Friday, 5 April. The laboratory is the result of a partnership between the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), Stellenbosch University, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), and the traditional authority, led by Hosi Given Bungeni.

The handing-over ceremony was attended by dignitaries such as Limpopo MEC for Education Ms Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya, the executive mayor of Vhembe District Municipality, Ms Freda Nkondo, and traditional leaders, including Hosi Given Bungeni and Thovhele Nthumeni Masia.

Three years ago, Hosi Bungeni requested assistance from Minister Blade Nzimande’s office to build a science laboratory in the village. This dream of providing learners from rural areas with the necessary knowledge and skills has now materialised.

The new lab is equipped with solar panels to assist learners during periods of load shedding and will also introduce learners from Grades 8 and 9 to science experiments much earlier in their school careers.

Speaking to Limpopo Mirror, Grade 11 learner Nothando Sisanda expressed her excitement about the lab’s potential to facilitate science experiments. “We have been eagerly waiting for this lab, as we used to travel long distances to access labs in other areas. Now, we will be taught how to make careful experimental observations and draw conclusions from the data,” she said.

Mr Tinyiko Shirinda, a natural and physical science teacher, believes the lab will benefit learners from disadvantaged communities. “We are going to develop useful projects and conduct our own experiments,” he said.

Chief Given Bungeni emphasised the importance of providing learners with access to modern facilities to inspire their academic pursuits and contribute to community development.

MEC Lerule-Ramakhanya stated that learners would now have the opportunity to engage in practical experiments, not just theoretical learning. “We have a three-year plan to ensure the lab’s sustainability and maximise its potential, with Stellenbosch University providing assistance,” said the MEC.

 

 

Date:20 April 2024

By: Thembi Siaga

Thembi Siaga started as an intern during 2021. He assisted with video photography and editing. He also produced numerous small documentaries, focusing on the Vhembe region and its people. Currently he works as a freelance journalist, covering stories in the Elim area.

Thembi studied at the Tshwane University of Technology, where he completed his diploma in Journalism in 2021.

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